No. 16/17 Football to Travel to No. 8/9 Washington State to Battle for First Place in the Pac-10
Oct. 28, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. -
This weekend will feature the battle for first place between the Pac-10 Conference's two unbeatens as the No. 16/17 Arizona State Sun Devils (7-2, 4-0) travel to the Palouse to take on the No. 8/9 Washington State Cougars (7-1, 4-0) Saturday afternoon at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. Winners of their last two games and seven of their last eight, including last week's 27-16 Homecoming victory over the Washington Huskies, the Sun Devils are off to their third 4-0 Pac-10 start since joining the league in 1978 and their first since running the Pac-10 table (8-0) and earning a Rose Bowl berth in 1996. With the team's victory over Washington last week, Arizona State has its most wins since the 1997 Sun Bowl-bound Sun Devils tallied a 9-3 record on the year. With their 7-2 overall record, the Sun Devils are also bowl eligible for the fifth time in seven years and have climbed into the national top 20 (16th in the AP poll, 17th in the coaches poll), which marks the highest national ranking for the team since the 1997 Sun Bowl Championship squad finished at 14th in each of the final national polls. Washington State (7-1, 4-0) is currently on a five-game winning streak heading into this week's game, including last week's 21-13 victory at Arizona.
In the SeriesArizona State leads the all-time series with Washington State 16-10-2 dating back to 1960. Last year, the Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak to the Sun Devils with their 28-16 win on Nov. 10 in Tempe. ASU leads the series 6-5 in games played in eastern Washington (5-4 in Pullman, 1-1 in Spokane). The Sun Devils have won the last two meetings at WSU's Martin Stadium, including a 23-20 overtime victory in Pullman on Oct. 21, 2000, when Mike Barth kicked a 41-yard game-winner and first-round NFL draft choice Adam Archuleta picked off a pass in the endzone in overtime in what was the first of ASU's NCAA-record three consecutive overtime games.
Prior to last year's loss, the Sun Devils had won the last four games in what has been a streaky series. Before those four games, WSU had won four straight, and before that, ASU had won four in a row. ASU head coach Dirk Koetter is 0-3 in his career against Washington State with two losses while he was at Boise State (33-21 loss in 1998 and 42-35 loss in 2000), while WSU head coach Mike Price is 5-6 against ASU.
In the RankingsArizona State is ranked 16th in this week's Associated Press poll and 17th in this week's USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. ASU was 23rd and 25th in the polls last week, marking the first time since the 1999 season that ASU had been ranked. In 1999, the Sun Devils were ranked 25th in the first poll of the year and climbed to 22nd the following week before falling out of the polls after a Sept. 18 loss to New Mexico State. This week's rankings are the highest for the team since the 1997 Sun Bowl squad was ranked 14th in each of the final national polls.
Team CaptainsHead coach Dirk Koetter will select single-game captains each week. Koetter's selections for the Washington State game are senior linebacker Solomon Bates, junior wide receiver Skyler Fulton and junior left tackle Regis Crawford.
ExposureThe Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 13 of ASU's football games this season live on its 14-station network including flagship stations KTAR 620 AM and ESPN Radio 860 AM. Tim Healey (play-by-play), Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst), Vince Marotta (pre- and postgame) and Dave Burns (sidelines) will bring the action to Sun Devil fans. The game can also be heard on ASU's official web site at www. TheSunDevils.com.
ABC will televise this week's game at Washington State to a regional audience with Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts and Todd Harris (sidelines) calling the action. It marks the second ABC appearance of the season for the Sun Devils who downed Stanford 65-24 at Sun Devil Stadium on ABC earlier this year.
Washington State ConnectionsAssistant head coach/special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Tom Osborne is a 1983 graduate of Washington State. He played wide receiver for the Cougars in 1979-80. Osborne started his coaching career on the Palouse as well, serving as WSU's student coach in 1981-82 and as a graduate assistant coach from 1983-85 ... Washington State tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Robin Pflugrad, in his second year at WSU, spent six seasons at Arizona State on former head coach Bruce Snyder's staff. Pflugrad was ASU's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 1995-2001 ... two Sun Devil juniors, wide receiver Skyler Fulton and fullback Mike Karney, call the Evergreen state home. Fulton was an all-state performer in football and baseball at Olympia's Capital High School, while Karney was an honorable-mention All-America selection out of Kentwood High School in Kent, Wash.
Good StartArizona State has tallied a 4-0 start in Pac-10 play this season, marking just the third time in school history that the Sun Devils have achieved that feat since joining the league in 1978. ASU's first 4-0 Pac-10 start came in 1982 (5-0 before losing to Washington 17-13 on Nov. 13). ASU played in the Fiesta Bowl that year. The other 4-0 start came in 1996 when ASU went undefeated in Pac-10 competition (8-0) and earned an appearance in the Rose Bowl. ASU finished 11-1 that season.
Last Time OutJunior defensive end Terrell Suggs had 4.5 sacks and tied the NCAA single-season mark in the category with 17.5 sacks as No. 23 Arizona State shut down the nation's third-best passing offense to beat Washington 27-16 October 26 on Homecoming. The Sun Devils held Washington without a touchdown until the final minutes.
Washington quarterback Cody Pickett's string of 300-yard games ended at seven. He was limited to 210 yards, and all but 70 came in the fourth quarter. He threw a 38-yard TD pass to Paul Arnold with 3:47 to play, and he drove the Huskies to their final score, Chris Singleton's 1-yard run with 51 seconds left. Until then, Washington managed only a 40-yard field goal by John Anderson.
Arizona State broke from a 14-3 halftime lead by scoring on its first drive following after a 44-yard kickoff return by Hill. Walter, who completed 18 of 27 passes, had completions of 10 and 16 yards to Cornell Canidate to set up his 15-yard TD pass to junior Shaun McDonald 4:59 into the third quarter.
After one fruitless possession, Hill gained 23 yards the first three plays of a drive, and junior Mike Williams broke a 15-yard run to set up the first of two fourth-quarter field goals by Mike Barth, which put ASU up 27-3 with 8:38 left to play.
Senior tight end Mike Pinkard figured prominently in Arizona State's short drive for the first TD, catching a 13-yard pass on third-and-7 and taking a tight end screen 13 yards to the 1 to set up Hill's plunge with 8:06 to play.
Then Suggs set up an even shorter drive for a 14-0 lead. First, he sacked Pickett on second down. On the next snap, Suggs was pulling Pickett down by the shirt tail when the quarterback launched the ball. Senior Solomon Bates intercepted, his first pick of the season, and returned it 22 yards to the 6, and Hill, after no gain on two carries, took a pass in with nine seconds left in the quarter.
In the second quarter, Suggs stopped a Washington drive with his third sack, and the Huskies settled for Anderson's field goal with 1:57 left. Suggs finished as ASU's leading tackler with a career-best 12 in the game.
Suggs Ties NCAA Sack Record... Up Next, Pac-10 & ASU RecordsWith his career-best 4.5 sacks last weekend vs. Washington, junior defensive end Terrell Suggs has tied the NCAA single-season mark held by Syracuse's Dwight Freeney (2001) with 17.5 sacks this year. A finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award and on the watch lists for both the Lombardi and Nagurski Awards this season, Suggs needs just 1.5 more sacks to tie the school single-season and Pac-10 Conference marks of 19, currently held by ASU's Al Harris (1978), Arizona's Tedy Bruschi (1993) and USC's Tim Ryan (1989). The NCAA did not record sacks as an official statistic until 2000, while the Pac-10's defensive stats date back to 1984. Suggs has also moved into sole possession of second on the ASU career list with 37.5 sacks in his three years in Tempe.
Suggs continues to lead the nation and the Pac-10 with 17.5 sacks this year. He has tallied at least four sacks in two games this year, including his effort last week vs. Washington and four sacks Oct. 5 vs. North Carolina. His 4.5 sacks vs. the Huskies are the most for a Sun Devil since Derrick Rodgers had 4.5 in ASU's Rose Bowl-clinching win over California on Nov. 9, 1996.
Suggs has also already tied the school single-season and career marks for tackles for loss. He has 24.0 tackles for loss this season, matching the total that Derrick Rodgers (1996) and Al Harris (1977) each had, and 58.0 tackles for loss in his career, matching the 58 that Bob Kohrs tallied in four years (1976-79). Suggs needs just four more TFLs to tie the Pac-10 single-season mark of 28 currently held by Stanford's Ron George (1990).
The team leader in each category in each of the last two seasons, Suggs had two TFLs and a sack at Nebraska in ASU's season opener and three sacks in each of ASU's next two games (Eastern Washington, UCF). Despite having a quiet game by his standards vs. No. 6 Oregon two weeks ago with just three tackles, including one for a loss, Suggs' tackle on the Ducks' last play turned out to be one of his biggest of the year. Suggs hit UO quarterback Jason Fife on the pass play that resulted in junior Brett Hudson's interception to secure the ASU victory.
Last year, the third-team Football News All-American and first-team All-Pac-10 selection led the Pac-10 in solo sacks and tied for first with four forced fumbles. He also finished second in total sacks (10-57) and tackles for loss (18-79) in 2001.
ASU Single-Season Sacks1. 19 Al Harris, 19782. 17.5 Terrell Suggs, 20023. 14 Bob Kohrs, 19784. 12 Derrick Rodgers, 1996 12 Vernon Maxwell, 19826. 11 Shante Carver, 1991
ASU Career Sacks1. 41 Shante Carver, 1990-932. 37.5 Terrell Suggs, 2000-present3. 28 Vernon Maxwell, 1979-824. 26 Scott Stephen, 1983-865. 22 Bob Kohrs, 1978-796. 20 Jim Jeffcoat, 1979-82
ASU Career Tackles for Loss1. 24 Terrell Suggs, 2002 24 Derrick Rodgers, 1996 24 Al Harris, 19774. 23 Jeremy Staat, 19975. 22 Brett Wallerstedt, 1992 22 Bob Kohrs, 1979 22 Al Harris, 19788. 21 Adam Archuleta, 1999
ASU Career Tackles for Loss1. 58 Terrell Suggs, 2000-present 58 Bob Kohrs, 1976-793. 57 Shante Carver, 1990-93 57 Al Harris, 1975-785. 56 Vernon Maxwell, 1979-826. 53 Adam Archuleta, 1997-007. 46 Scott Stephen, 1983-86
Suggs' Game-by-Game in 2002Opponent Tackles (Solo) TFL Sacksat Nebraska 4 (2) 1.0-1 1-1Eastern Washington 5 (3) 2.0-20 3-20Central Florida 7 (6) 4.5-24 3-14at San Diego State 4 (3) 3.0-13 1-5Stanford* 3 (1) 0-0 0-0North Carolina* 7 (5) 4.5-32 4-31Oregon State 3 (2) 1.5-8 1-7at Oregon 3 (1) 1.0-2 0-0Washington 12 (5) 6.5-44 4.5-36Totals 48 (28) 24.0-144 17.5-114* Suggs also had an interception vs. Stanford and two forced fumbles vs. North Carolina
Sacking the QuarterbackArizona State's defense continues to lead the Pac-10 in sacks with 41.0 for a loss of 295 yards. The team had just 28 sacks all of last season, while ASU has also tallied 92.5 tackles for loss (434 yards) so far this year, including a season-high 17.0 for a loss of 89 yards last weekend vs. Washington, compared to 82 for a loss of 304 yards all of last year. Led by junior Terrell Suggs, the nation's leader in the category, the Sun Devils have turned in 21.0 sacks in the last four games, including a season-high eight last weekend vs. Washington.
Against Ranked TeamsArizona State's Oct. 19 win over then No. 6 Oregon marked the team's first victory over a team ranked in the Associated Press poll since 1997, snapping a string of 12 straight losses to ranked opponents. It was also the Sun Devils' first win over an opponent that highly ranked since ASU's 19-0 win over then No. 1 Nebraska in 1996.
This week against No. 8 Washington State, the Sun Devils will be looking to notch their first back-to-back victories over ranked opponents since the 1997 season when the team downed No. 25 Stanford 31-14 in Palo Alto on Oct. 19, 1997 and then knocked off No. 10 Washington State 44-31 in Tempe on Nov. 1. That win over the Rose Bowl-bound Cougars was Washington State's only regular-season loss that year and coincidentally was ASU's last victory over a ranked opponent until the team's Oct. 19 victory at Oregon this year.
Walter's WorldWith his 536-yard passing performance to upend No. 6 Oregon on Oct. 19, sophomore quarterback Andrew Walter set Pac-10 Conference and Arizona State school records for single-game passing yards, surpassing the previous mark of 534 yards by fellow Sun Devil Paul Justin vs. Washington State in 1989. In fact, Sun Devils now hold the top three single-game passing marks in Pac-10 history, including the 532-yard effort by Jeff Van Raaphorst vs. Florida State in 1984, four of the top five records and seven of the top 13 marks in league history.
Last week's Sporting News, cnnsi.com and USAToday.com Player of the Week, Walter, who leads the Pac-10 and ranks fifth in the nation in passing efficiency at 153.28, is the first player in school history to notch three 400-yard passing games in a career, let alone a season as he has done this year. Justin and Jeff Van Raaphorst were the only other Sun Devils to have more than one 400-yard game in their careers, each notching two. Earlier this year, he also became the first player in school history to throw for 400 yards in back-to-back games. Walter completed 22 of 37 passes for 414 yards and five touchdowns Sept. 28 vs. Stanford and followed that up with a 27-for-45 effort for 474 yards Oct. 5 vs. North Carolina (fourth on the ASU single-season charts and T9th in Pac-10 history). His 888 yards in two games mark the most passing yards for a Sun Devil quarterback in back-to-back contests, surpassing the previous school mark of 873 yards by Paul Justin in 1989 (534 yards vs. Washington State, 339 vs. Washington).
He has already shattered two of ASU's total offense records, gaining the most yards in school history in consecutive games with 901 yards (422 vs. Stanford and 479 vs. UNC) and the most in four consecutive games with 1,594 yards of total offense (422 vs. Stanford, 479 vs. UNC, 185 vs. OSU and 508 at Oregon). Walter has also set school records for passing yards per attempt for 41-50 attempts at 10.5 yards vs. North Carolina and 51+ attempts at 10.11 at Oregon.
On the season, Walter, who did not earn a starting role until the fifth game of the season vs. Stanford, has completed 137 of 241 attempts for 2,187 yards (sixth in the Pac-10 at 243.0 yards per game) and 19 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He is already tied for sixth on ASU's single-season touchdown passes list with 19 and needs just one more to break into the top five. With four regular-season games left this year, Walter needs just 207 more passing yards to break into ASU's single-season top 5 list and is just 691 yards away from ASU's single-season record of 2,878 yards thrown by Danny White (1973).
Walter's five touchdown passes vs. Stanford on Sept. 28 tied for third-best in school history with Jeff Krohn who also threw five TD passes in a loss to Oregon in 2000. In his last six games, Walter has completed 123 of 216 attempts (.569) for 2,035 yards and 16 touchdowns, while in five games as a starter (4-1 record), he has completed 112 of 196 passes for 1,794 yards (358.8 yards per game) and 12 touchdowns.
ASU Single-Game Touchdown Passes1. 7 Mike Pagel, vs. Stanford, 19812. 6 Danny White, vs. New Mexico, 19713. 5 Andrew Walter, vs. Stanford, 2002 5 Jeff Krohn, vs. Oregon, 20005. 4 21 times (twice by Andrew Walter in 2002: at San Diego State and at Oregon)
ASU Single-Game Passing Yards1. 536 Andrew Walter at Oregon, 2002**2. 534 Paul Justin vs. Washington State, 19893. 532 Jeff Van Raaphorst vs. Florida State, 19844. 511 Ryan Kealy vs. Arizona, 19985. 474 Andrew Walter vs. North Carolina, 2002 474 Paul Justin vs. Houston, 19907. 466 Mike Pagel vs. Stanford, 19818. 437 Jeff Van Raaphorst vs. Arizona, 1986** also the Pac-10 single-game record
ASU Single-Season Touchdown Passes1. 29 Mike Pagel, 19812. 24 Jake Plummer, 1996 24 Danny White, 19734. 23 Danny White, 19725. 20 John Torok, 19646. 19 Andrew Walter, 2002 19 Jeff Krohn, 2001 19 Ryan Kealy, 1998 19 Joe Spagnola, 1970
Mid-Season All-AmericansJunior defensive end Terrell Suggs and junior wide receiver Shaun McDonald were both honored on the CNNSI.com 'Mid-Season' All-America team. Suggs earned first-team honors, while McDonald was a honorable-mention selection on the list which recognizes the top players in the country at the halfway point of the season.
McDonald Semifinalist for Biletnikoff AwardJunior wide receiver Shaun McDonald has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2002 Biletnikoff Award, which is annually presented to the top wide receiver in the country by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club. Other semifinalists include Nevada's Nate Burleson, Iowa State's Lane Danielson, Florida's Taylor Jacobs, Illinois' Brandon Lloyd, Michigan State's Charles Rogers, Purdue's John Standeford, San Diego State's J.R. Tolver, Texas' Roy Williams and Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods.
The list will be narrowed to three finalists later this fall, while the award will be presented at the ESPN Annual Awards show on Dec. 12.
Suggs a Semifinalist for Hendricks AwardJunior defensive end Terrell Suggs has been named one of the 10 semifinalists for the inaugural Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award, the Miami Touchdown Club announced Thursday. The award will be presented to the best defensive end in the country in any of the NCAA divisions.
Selection criteria includes on-field performance, leadership ability and contribution to the school and community. The award is named after Ted Hendricks, a three-time All-American at the University of Miami. Hendricks went on to an illustrious NFL career that saw him play in eight Pro Bowls and four Super Bowls. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.
Tough Road AheadStarting this weekend at No. 8/9 Washington State, Arizona State will play three of its last four games on the road. Including ASU's Oct. 19 win at No. 6 Oregon, the team plays four of its last six on the road with three games against teams ranked in the national top 15. Following this week's game at WSU, ASU plays host to California on Nov. 9 and wraps up the regular season with back-to-back road trips to No. 11/11 USC on Nov. 16 and intrastate rival Arizona on Nov. 29.
Lighting Up the ScoreboardThe Sun Devils are averaging 35.3 points per game, which ranks second in the Pac-10 and 12th in the nation. ASU's 45 points in its 45-42 upset at sixth-ranked Oregon on Oct. 19 were the most points in a Pac-10 road game for the team since defeating Arizona 56-14 in Tucson on Nov. 23, 1996, ASU's last regular-season game in that Rose Bowl campaign. In the team's four Pac-10 wins this year, ASU is averaging 37.5 points per game.
The team set a school record for scoring in a Pac-10 game Sept. 28 with its 65-24 win over Stanford, besting the previous mark of 62 points, which also came against Stanford in a 1981 game (62-36 win). The 65 points ASU scored vs. the Cardinal were the most since the team tallied 66 against UTEP on Oct. 22, 1977. It also marked the fifth time that a Dirk Koetter-coached team has topped the 60-point mark (twice at Arizona State).
Since managing just 10 points in their season opener at Nebraska, the Sun Devils have averaged 38.5 ppg in the last eight contests (7-1 record) and have outscored their opponents 308-172 in that stretch.
Last year, the Sun Devils averaged 34.0 points per game in 2001, which tied for third in the Pac-10 with conference champion Oregon and 19th in the nation. The total marked the most for the team since 1996 when the Pac-10 champion and Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devils averaged 40.7 points per contest.
Turnover TaleAfter forcing just one turnover in their first two games, the Sun Devils have forced 27 in the last seven games, including a season-high seven Sept. 28 vs. Stanford (four interceptions, three fumbles) and four Oct. 12 vs. Oregon State (three interceptions, one fumble). Arizona State ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and tied for 23rd in the nation in turnover margin (0.89). Already this season, ASU has forced 28 total turnovers (16 interceptions, 12 fumbles), surpassing the 18 turnovers the team caused all of last year.
Racking up the Receiving TDsWith 12 catches for 204 yards and one touchdown two weeks ago at Oregon and three for 50 yards and a TD last week vs. Washington, junior wide receiver Shaun McDonald continues to threaten every single-season and career receiving mark in ASU history in just two and a half seasons so far. The Biletnikoff Award semifinalist is the first player in school history to notch two 200-yard receiving games in a career, let alone a season, with his other 200-yard game coming this year with 10 catches for 221 yards vs. Stanford on Sept. 28.
McDonald, the sixth Sun Devil in school history to reach 2,000 receiving yards, has moved into fourth place on the ASU career charts with 2,453 receiving yards and needs just 540 more yards to reach College Football Hall of Fame inductee John Jefferson's career mark of 2,993. McDonald, who reached the 2,000-yard plateau with his first catch of the game vs. North Carolina (13 yards) on Oct. 5, has topped the century mark in receiving yards in four of the last six games. Last year, he accomplished that feat in four straight games and turned in a total of five 100-yard receiving games, which matched the five that Keith Poole had in 1996 and was just one shy of the six that Ron Fair had in 1989
With 10 catches for 221 yards Sept. 28 vs. Stanford, McDonald turned in the third-best receiving performance in ASU history, trailing just the 227 yards by Ron Fair in 1989 (19 catches) and the 232 yards by Eric Guliford (12 catches) in 1990. McDonald also set the school record for yards per catch for 10 receptions with a 22.1 yards-per-catch mark vs. the Cardinal, a record previously held by Aaron Cox (191 yards vs. Arizona in 1986).
McDonald has caught 58 passes for 991 yards and 10 TDs this season and currently ranks second in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation with 6.44 receptions per game and second in the Pac-10 and 10th in the nation with 110.1 receiving yards per game. He has already matched his TD production of one year ago and is currently ranked in fifth on ASU's list for single-season TD catches with 10. Through only nine games (with four to go), McDonald needs just 153 yards to tie the ASU single-season receiving yards mark of 1,144 set by Morris Owens in 1973, a record McDonald missed last year by just 40 yards.
With his four TD catches at San Diego State on Sept. 14, McDonald tied the school single-game record he holds along with John Allen. McDonald also caught four TD passes in 2001 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, and Allen did it in 1953 vs. San Jose State. McDonald has caught 21 touchdown passes in his ASU career, just four shy of the school record of 25 set by Keith Poole (1993-96) and Doug Allen (1981-84).
McDonald opened the 2002 season with a solid performance, catching seven passes for 73 yards at Nebraska. The speedy junior turned in a then season-high eight catches for 175 yards at San Diego State on Sept. 14, since bested by his career-high 10 receptions for 221 yards vs. Stanford. McDonald has caught at least one pass in each of the last 24 games, dating back to the 2000 season.
A 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 selection, McDonald finished second on the ASU single-season charts with 1,104 receiving yards last year, just 40 yards shy of the single-season mark of 1,144 yards set by Morris Owens in 1973. He led the Pac-10 and finished 10th in the nation with an average of 100.4 yards per game. He also shattered ASU season marks for receiving yards per game (100.4 ypg) and receiving yards per catch (23.5 ypc), records previously held by Ron Fair (98.3 yards per game in 1989) and Morris Owens (22.0 yards per catch in 1973), respectively. McDonald also caught 10 touchdown passes in 2001, which ranked fifth on the ASU single-season list for TD catches.
ASU Career Receiving Yards1. 2,993 John Jefferson, 1974-772. 2,694 Aaron Cox, 1984-873. 2,691 Keith Poole, 1993-964. 2,453 Shaun McDonald, 2000-present5. 2,408 Eric Guliford, 1989-926. 2,149 John Mistler, 1977-80
ASU Career Touchdown Catches1. 25 Keith Poole (1993-96) 25 Doug Allen (1981-84)3. 22 Steve Holden (1970-72)4. 21 Shaun McDonald (2000-present) 21 J.D. Hill (1967-68, 1970) 21 John Mistler (1977-80)7. 20 John Jefferson (1974-77)8. 17 Morris Owens (1972-74)9. 16 Aaron Cox (1984-87)10. 15 Lenzie Jackson (1995-98)
ASU Single-Season Receiving Yards (Catches)1. 1,144 Morris Owens (52), 19732. 1,104 Shaun McDonald (47), 20013. 1,082 Ron Fair (64), 19894. 1,036 Keith Poole (55), 19955. 1,009 J.D. Hill (61), 19706. 991 Shaun McDonald (55), 20027. 974 Greg Hudson (62), 1973
Single-Season Catches (Yards)1. 64 Ron Fair (1082), 19892. 62 Greg Hudson (974), 19733. 61 J.D. Hill (1009), 19704. 58 Shaun McDonald (991), 2002 58 John Jefferson (968), 19776. 55 Todd Heap (832), 1999 55 Lenzie Jackson (777), 1997 55 Keith Poole (1036), 1995 55 Eric Guliford (801), 1991
Interception ConnectionWith 16 interceptions on the year including a game-saving pick by junior Brett Hudson Oct. 19 at sixth-ranked Oregon and one by senior linebacker Solomon Bates last week vs. Washington, ASU has already surpassed its total of nine from all of last year. Eleven players have combined for ASU's Pac-10 leading 16 interceptions this year.
Sophomore cornerback R.J. Oliver leads the team with four picks this year, including one Oct. 12 vs. Oregon State, a total which puts him in a tie for sixth in the Pac-10. Oliver's four interceptions mark the most for a Sun Devil since Nijrell Eason had five in 2000.
The Sun Devils snagged four interceptions in the team's Sept. 28 win over Stanford, the most in a single game since ASU had five in a 1998 win over California.
Notes on the DefenseSun Devils lead the Pac-10 in five individual statistical categories with junior defensive end Terrell Suggs first in sacks (17.5-114) and tackles for loss (124.0-144), sophomore cornerback R.J. Oliver first in passes defended (19), senior linebacker Mason Unck first in fumbles forced (five) and senior linebacker Josh Amobi first in fumbles recovered (four)... three Sun Devils rank in the top 10 in the Pac-10 in tackles led by sophomore safety Riccardo Stewart who is fifth (8.2 tackles per game), sophomore free safety Jason Shivers who is tied for sixth (8.1) and Unck who ranks 10th (7.7)... prior to giving up 24 second-half points to North Carolina Oct. 5, the Sun Devils had allowed just 14 second-half points in the previous four games (two field goals at San Diego State and a TD and two-point conversion by Stanford)... the Sun Devils held Oregon State to just a field goal in the second half and held Washington to just a field goal through 56:13 of the game Oct. 26 before the ASU reserves allowed a pair of touchdowns in the last 3:47... the Sun Devils also snapped Washington quarterback Cody Pickett's streak of seven straight 300-yard passing games, holding him to 18-of-37 for 210 yards... ASU is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 11th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 97.9 yards on the ground per game... prior to allowing a 57-yard scoring run by Oregon's Onterrio Smith in the first quarter, ASU had not allowed a rushing touchdown in its past 11 quarters of football, dating back to the Stanford game on Sept. 28. Prior to the Oregon game, ASU had allowed a total of just four rushing touchdowns through its first seven games... the Sun Devils held Eastern Washington to minus-13 rushing yards on Aug. 31, the lowest total in 10 seasons since Howard Schnellenberger's Louisville struggled to minus-78 rushing yards in 1992 at Sun Devil Stadium, while Oregon State had just nine yards on the ground Oct. 12... ASU held Eastern Washington scoreless with the Eagles' only points in the game coming on a team safety in the third quarter on Aug. 31... that marked the first time since the Sun Devils' 19-0 shutout of Nebraska in 1996 that ASU's defense did not allow a point in a game... ASU recorded a safety for the first time since Nov. 11, 2001 vs. No. 11 Washington State when Suggs posted a sack in the endzone against Central Florida.
Pac-10 Players of the WeekArizona State has had four players earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this year, most recently sophomore quarterback Andrew Walter and senior placekicker Mike Barth on Oct. 21 following ASU's upset of then sixth-ranked Oregon.
Walter established a Pac-10 single-game record by passing for 536 yards to lead the Sun Devil offense. Walter completed 31 of 53 (.585) passes for the 536 yards and four touchdowns of 22, 3, 67 and 58 yards. He directed an ASU offense that piled up 559 yards passing and 590 yards of total offense.
Barth, a senior from Phoenix, was perfect on three field goal attempts, connecting from 32, 44 and 29 yards. His 29-yard field goal was the game winner which came with 1:58 remaining.
Other Sun Devils to be recognized by the conference this season are senior linebacker Josh Amobi and redshirt freshman returner Hakim Hill. Amobi was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in ASU's 13-9 win over Oregon State on Oct. 12. Amobi keyed the defensive effort vs. the Beavers, tallying five tackles, four solo, including three tackles for loss (minus-27 yards), one of which was a quarterback sack for minus-19 yards. In addition, Amobi intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. His quarterback sack came on the final play of the game with Oregon State threatening from the ASU 15-yard line.
Hill was named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 9 to become the Sun Devils' first special teams 'returner' to be named POW since Terry Battle on Nov. 2, 1996. Hill had 157
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